Public Doesn't Want to Pay for Health Care Fix

Americans support goals, but not if it will cost them personally
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 10:17 AM CST
Protesters rail against health care reform outside Swedish Medical Center where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – Americans are enthusiastic about health care reform, but only as long as it doesn't drive up the price of their own premiums, a new AP poll finds. Whenever questions were framed broadly, voters seemed to support Democrats’ plans, but when asked about specific trade-offs they balked. A whopping 82%, for example, favor a law requiring insurers to accept everyone regardless or pre-existing conditions. But when told that such a law would increase premiums, only 43% said they supported it.

In another seemingly schizophrenic example, 67% said they supported requiring everyone to buy some insurance, but 64% said they’d be opposed to federal penalties for people who didn’t comply. “I think it’s crazy,” said one respondent. “It infringes on our rights as a citizen.” Similarly, 73% said they supported requiring employers to cover employees, but only 52% supported fining those who didn’t. Overall, 43% say they oppose the plans currently in Congress, while 41% support them.